lizardWelcome to the LEES Lab

The LEES Lab at the CGCEO of Michigan State University, directed by Dr. Jiquan Chen, is interested in scientific investigations and education on fundamental ecosystem and landscape processes for understanding ecosystem functions and management.

Our current studies are focused on the carbon and water cycles of different ecosystems (grassland, desert, forest, cropland, wetlands, freshwater) at multiple spatial and temporal scales, bioenergy systems and resource uses, coupled interactions and feedback between climatic change and human activities, and sustainable management and conservation.

Our research projects, spreading mostly across North American and Asian landscapes, are based on sound field experiments and monitoring stations, state-of-the-art equipment and technology, modeling, and remote sensing technology. The LEES Lab is also the home of book series on "Ecosystem Science and Applications—ESA" for the Higher Education Press (HEP) and De Gruyter. We maintain a high ethical and liberal standard for professional collaborations in research and education.

Featured Article

A Bayesian approach to mapping the uncertainties of global urban lands

Landscape and Urban Planning, September 2018 | DOI:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.07.016

Zutao Ouyang, Peilei Fan, Jiquan Chen, Raffaele Lafortezza, Joseph P. Messina, Vincenzo Giannico, Ranjeet John

Global distribution of urban lands is one of the essential pieces of information necessary for urban planning. However, large disagreement exists among different products and the uncertainty remains difficult to quantify. We applied a Bayesian approach to map the uncertainties of global urban lands. We demonstrated the approach by producing a hybrid global urban land map that synthesized five different urban land maps in ca. 2000 at 1-km resolution. The resulting hybrid map is a posterior probability map with pixel values suggesting the probability of being urban land, which is validated by 30-m higher resolution references. We also quantified the minimum and maximum urban areas in 2000 for each country/continent based on subjective probability thresholds (i.e., 0.9 and 0.1) on our hybrid urban map. Globally, we estimated that the urban land area was between 377,000 and 533,000 km2 in 2000. The credible interval of minimum/maximum urban area can help guide future studies in estimating urban areas. In addition to providing uncertainty information, the hybrid map also achieves higher accuracy than individual maps when it is converted into a binary urban/non-urban map using a probability threshold of 0.5. This new method has the ability to further integrate discrete site/location-based data, local, regional, and global urban land maps. As more data is sequentially integrated, the accuracy is expected to improve. Therefore, our hybrid map should not be regarded as a final product, but a new prior product for future synthesis and integration toward a 'big data' solution.

Landscape and Urban Planning, 2018

Figure 2. Hybrid global urban maps resampled at 60-km resolution produced by sequential inference based on Bayes' rule. Six cities (New York, London, New Delhi, Bangkok, Guangzhou, and Tokyo) were enlarged from their original 1-km resolution to show the detail at a 1:2,500,000 scale.